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Running Game Key

49-0!  That’s the record since 2008 that Alabama has with rushing for more than 150 yards.  However, the Tide is 11-7 when less than that.  So in all of the talk with the A.J. McCarron and Notre Dame’s Golson being the “X-Factors” in the game.  The real question is how will the “Dynamic Duo” and the “Elite” offensive line do?  Nick Saban team’s simply do not lose when the running game clicks.

D.J. Fluker calls Junior Eddie Lacy and Freshman T.J. Yeldon “a bad little duo”.  Both of the backs broke the 1000 yard mark and totaled 2182 yards and 27 touchdowns this season.  “One of them brings more physicality to the table,” Fluker said, meaning Lacy, “but they remind me a lot of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones together at Arkansas.”

This has become a standard with Alabama over the Saban era going back to Coffee and Ingram (2008), Ingram/Richardson (2009/2010), Richardson/Lacy (2011), Lacy/Yeldon (2012).  As great as Alabama’s backfield has been over the last half-decade, Lacy and Yeldon are the first 1,000-yard duo the program has seen in that time-span.

Running with the pro-style offense and an O-line that could all be drafted as a whole to any NFL team and be effective, does make a difference though.  The combination of the scheme of the offense, vision of the backs, and size and cohesion of the line all add up to be a powerful force to deal with.

Notre Dame’s defensive line has been talked about for the past 45 days as being one of the best in college football.  They have the size and quickness and they have a great linebacker in Manti Te’o.  The battle as Dameon Square says will be “won in the trenches” for sure with this classic battle.  And we will see in just a couple of hours how that battle will play out.

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